Shirou noticed a change within himself.
He felt as though the power of the Saint Graph had merged with his beliefs, drawing upon an unseen vortex to form the power of his own destiny.
He checked his status panel and realized that the Grail War was the source of this transformation.
—— Innate Skill!
[Wisdom of Mortals D+: We are not the chosen ones, but we are the masters of our own fate.
Praise those who are good to us, and destroy those who are against us.]
[Heroic Mortal C: Know shame before bravery, then become a true hero! Open mountains and fill seas, we are all the nameless ones!]
Shirou saw that his [Wisdom of Mortal] had increased from D to D+, but he didn't notice much of a difference in its effect.
However, the new [Heroic Mortal C] effect was quite rare.
It had appeared alongside several other abilities, granting Shirou newfound power.
——[Honor of Suffering C-]
——[Unyielding Will C-]
——[Triumphant Return of the Sword C-]
“So that's it? Is it a skill that replicates innate skills? However, it seems that the replicated skills will decrease by one level compared to the Heroic Mortal.”
Shirou had come to understand the value of his newfound skill.
Although the origin of these skills remained a mystery to him, it no longer mattered.
What was important was that he had awakened.
As Shirou gazed at his reflection in the lake, he realized that he was no longer the same person.
He saw his eyes, which used to be ordinary, now contain a flickering flame that burned brightly within him.
The awakening flame was intense and dazzling, and he couldn't take his eyes off it.
Suddenly, a purple shadow appeared before him with a whoosh, startling him.
“Shisho?” he said, surprised to see his mentor.
Shirou was taken aback to see Scathach standing before him, as she had always told him that she was unable to materialize.
However, the Scathach who had materialized now appeared pitiful, with broken spears and torn armor.
“The flames in your eyes are truly dazzling, Shirou,” Scathach said with a smile.
Shirou was concerned as he asked, “Shisho, how did you end up here? What happened to you?”
Just as Shirou was about to comfort her, his awakened flames suddenly flared up, causing him to stumble.
He had a fleeting feeling that he could understand Scathach, but he quickly regained his composure.
Gently taking her hand, Shirou checked his interface, where he saw the skills [Wisdom of Dun Scaith C-] and [God Slayer C-] listed.
He wondered if he could copy these skills just by observing them.
However, despite successfully copying them, he was unable to activate them due to his lack of magical energy.
Like the impressive swords of Projection, these were not accomplishments of his own and required the corresponding magical energy to bring them to life.
“Ah, I see,” Scathach concluded.
“The awakening of the unusual aura, it's the flame, isn't it?”
Shirou's face broke into a faint smile.
“You figured it out, Shisho.”
“Such a dazzling flame, no one can ignore it,” Scathach said with a smile.
“But it seems that only mortal feats can be replicated.
The feats of gods and other races are beyond duplication.”
“Shisho, you're not going to make me guess this time?”
“I no longer have the right to do so,” Scathach replied with a hint of sadness in her smile.
“Don't be silly, Shisho,” Shirou said, smiling.
“Never mind that now.
No matter how much you'll dislike me later, let's find a safe place before Gilgamesh catches up,” Scathach said, taking Shirou's hand.
They quickly left the area.
Before long, Gilgamesh appeared on the scene.
His piercing red eyes narrowed, “Have you awakened, you mongrel? Hmph…
It's that revolting mongrel power after all! No matter, I'll spare you for now.
I have something else to attend to.”
Gilgamesh then left.
He reached the Church where Kirei was present.
Kirei was reciting the prayers of God, facing away from Gilgamesh.
“What's this, Kirei? Did you kill Tokiomi and now you're seeking absolution?” Gilgamesh sneered.
“I did not kill him,” Kirei replied, turning to face Gilgamesh.
His calm gaze met Gilgamesh's eyes.
“The teachings of God say that taking a life is a sin.
So I only cut off his hand, allowing him to live.”
“I assume the magic crest of that mongrel has been destroyed?” Gilgamesh asked with a composed expression.
This prompted Kirei to burst into laughter.
He laughed loudly, almost uncontrollably.
The Tohsaka family's magic crest was destroyed, so…so…so how could I let him die?” Kirei laughed.
Gilgamesh studied Kirei with a critical eye and then sneered, “Ugly expression for a mongrel.
What about those mongrels, the assassins?”
“They are keeping watch all around,” Kirei replied.
“Use your Command Seals to gather them together,” Gilgamesh ordered.
“Why…?” Kirei asked, confused.
“I will grant them their wish,” Gilgamesh said, his smile turning wicked.
Kirei continued to look at him in confusion.
Assassin, Hassan of the Hundred, was one of the legendary nineteen Persian “Old Men of the Mountain” and a possible candidate to lead the assassination cult.
He was known for his diverse skills, vast knowledge, and unpredictable abilities and was honored with the revered title of “Hundred Faces.”
In modern times, he would be diagnosed with multiple personality disorders and this was also the source of his Noble Phantasm, Delusional Illusion.
Therefore, Hassan decided to follow his desire to be summoned by the Holy Grail and merge his multiple personalities into one, even though it meant eliminating the source of his Noble Phantasm, “Delusional Illusion”.
Gilgamesh's offer to help Hassan fulfill his wish was puzzling to Kirei.
How could Gilgamesh offer to help someone like Hassan, who he had called a mongrel, especially when the Holy Grail had not yet appeared and the wishing machine was still unseen? Moreover, why would Gilgamesh help someone for no reason, given his character?
Despite his confusion, Kirei followed Gilgamesh's lead and used his command seals to gather the Assassins.
When the Assassins arrived, they were cautious around Gilgamesh, knowing that he was the one who had cut off Tokiomi's arm.
Even Kirei was also left wondering why Gilgamesh had no intention of attacking him.
Gilgamesh looked at the assassins with irony and said with a loud laugh, “Feel honored, this king will grant your wish to fulfill your own tragic desire! Hahahaha hahaha!”
He then clapped his hands fiercely, summoning the black mud.
As the assassins stood above the mud of evil, their feet began to float as if a deep abyss was opening beneath them, ready to devour them.
A pitiful scream echoed through the air.
The power of the mud was causing the assassins to merge together.
“It hurts! it hurts so much!” one of them cried out.
“Don't make us one! Don't do this to us!” begged another.
But Gilgamesh laughed heartily, his red eyes relishing in their suffering.
“That's not possible.
The reward of this king is not something you can refuse! Hahahaha!”
Kirei muttered in awe, “Beautiful…
it's truly breathtaking…
what is this?”
Kirei was so engrossed in the sight of the Black Mud devouring the assassins that he failed to notice the book he was holding slip from his fingers.
He stepped forward, heedless of the book of god he was stepping on, his shoes now caked in mud.
As the black mud slowly dissipated, the hundred bodies of the assassins merged into one.
It was not a union of spirits, but a physical, forced integration.
The resulting figure was a horrifying sight.
A hundred and ten heads merged into one body, twenty-seven of them tangled together in a mass of necks.
The assassins had finally achieved their wish of merging into one, but at what cost?
Was this a triumph or a tragedy? No one could say, not even Hassan of the Hundred Faces.
But Kirei felt joy.
Physical and mental joy.
The joy of witnessing someone's desire both fulfilled and destroyed was a thrill to him, just like the thrill he felt when he destroyed Tokiomi Tohsaka with his own hands.
“Kirei, go capture a mongrel for me,” Gilgamesh commanded.
“A mongrel?” Kirei repeated.
“I want the Grail to come into being through a birth,” Gilgamesh explained.
“Very well,” Kirei said with a laugh.
“I'll do anything to see that beautiful thing again.
And the Matou family has a particularly appealing choice.
That old man will surely love it.”
And with that, Kirei left with the united body of a hundred assassins in tow.
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